I didn't know it at the time, but I took the first steps to becoming an immigration and social policy researcher while on a study tour of Berlin's Kreuzberg. The guide was explaining that Berlin had the third-largest Turkish population in the world (after Istanbul and Ankara), and suddenly I was full of questions: what motivates people to move to an unfamiliar country? What conditions do they find when they arrive? What are all these debates about 'integration'? And most importantly, how do immigrants themselves perceive their social standing?
From then on, my work has explored the equality and human rights dimensions of immigration. I did an MA at University College London, where my thesis offered a comparative analysis of migrants' access to health services in the UK and Germany. After that I worked for a social enterprise in San Francisco, where I produced briefing materials and organised events to get the public talking about US immigration policy. I then undertook PhD research into the health experiences of Roma migrants to the UK, looking at the ways in which Roma individuals' personal narratives of health shed light on the state of health equality.
My research employs qualitative methods to get to the heart of often contentious social issues, presenting data from the perspectives of those affected by a social phenomenon or set of policy decisions. I have experience in structured, semi-structured and narrative interviewing; focus group facilitation and policy analysis.
My work provides a new spin on common social and cultural narratives, representing to the voices of disadvantaged and marginalised groups to challenge perceptions and foster understanding.